11:05 PM

For Immediate Release

Recovery Plan for California’s Giant Garter Snake Released

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 5, 2017) – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released its long overdue final recovery plan for the giant garter snake.

Kim Delfino, Defenders of Wildlife’s California program director, issued the following statement:

“The giant garter snake and other imperiled species in California’s Central Valley have faced prolonged droughts and massive habitat loss from urban and agricultural development. We are very pleased that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finally produced a plan to recover the threatened snake.

“The recovery plan will provide a roadmap that everyone can follow as we work to safeguard the giant garter snake throughout its historic range and restore its important wetland habitat.”


The giant garter snake is one of the largest garter snakes, growing up to 64 inches. It inhabits wetlands and rice fields in California’s Central Valley. Most of the snake’s habitat has been lost due to urban and agricultural development.

Ever since the giant garter snake was listed under the Endangered Species Act in 1993, FWS has identified it as a top priority for recovery planning. Four years later in 1997, FWS began drafting a recovery plan for the giant garter snake.

Eighteen years later in September 2015, Defenders filed a lawsuit asserting that the FWS has unreasonably delayed completion of a final recovery plan for the giant garter snake.

In March 2016, FWS agreed to a September 2017 deadline for the final recovery plan for the giant garter snake as part of a legal settlement with Defenders of Wildlife.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit Newsroom.Defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.